Can a term life insurance policy be active if payment on premiums stopped 4 years ago?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My ex-husband passed away and our kids are the beneficiaries of his term life insurance. When I called to file the claim I was told that his policy was active. I was sent the paperwork and all of a sudden several months later, the company says that “after further investigation” they’ve found out that payments stopped several years ago. And there is a small cash value to the policy which is what kept it active. It was a 30-year term policy. I don’t have a copy of the policy.

Is it possible for the policy to be active if it lapsed so long ago? I don’t have access to my ex-husband’s bank records.
What can I do to verify that what the insurance company are saying is true? We have young kids and this money will help me raise them. [Read more…]

For Massachusetts, NOT FEDERAL, Estate Tax: Does a gift of 100,000 need to be added back into my dad’s estate to calculate tax?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Dad’s estate is 1,400,000 and he died single. A year before his death he gave me $100,000. Do I use 1,400,000 or add the $100,000 for $1,500,000 when completing the MASSACHUSETTS ESTATE TAX RETURN? I am worried about some three year rule I read about> That is, the gift to me of 100,000 occurred within 3 years of his death [Read more…]

Useful Online Productivity and Security Tools

Here are several popular free or inexpensive online tools that can help manage and protect your online activities. They range from password management tools to security protection services.

Password Managers

A decade-old study by Microsoft estimates that the average person memorizes about six passwords and reuses them over and over. Today most people use dozens if not hundreds of online sites that require passwords. You put your security at risk if you are still using a few of the same old passwords. [Read more…]

Elements of a Good Business Partnership

Like a bundle of sticks, good business partners support each other and are less likely to crack under strain together than on their own. In fact, companies with multiple owners have a stronger chance of surviving their first five years than sole proprietorships, according to U.S. Small Business Administration data.

Yet sole proprietorships are more common than partnerships, making up more than 70 percent of all businesses. That’s because while good partnerships are strong, they can be hard to make. Here are some elements that good business partnerships require: [Read more…]

Is It Worth It to Amend Your Return?

Whether it makes sense to amend your return depends on which of these situations you’re in:

If you owe the IRS

If you discover an omission on your tax return that results in you owing additional tax, you need to correct it with an amendment and provide the tax due.

Don’t delay if this is your situation. If the IRS discovers the omission before you do, they may add interest and penalties to your bill. [Read more…]

Become Debt-Free

The average household carries $137,063 in debt, while the median household income is less than $60,000, according to data from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Labor Department. While it’s easy to get into debt, it can be hard to get out. Here are five tips personal finance experts recommend to lower your debt burden: [Read more…]

How Long Will It Last?

Planning to replace common items

Part of financial planning is having a good sense of how much it will cost to replace your possessions when they break down or wear out. But many of the big-ticket consumer products may cost more to replace and wear out sooner than you think.

An essential part of financial planning is to budget replacing some of these items each year. To help you do this, here are some common big-ticket items, how long they tend to last, and how much it may cost to replace them. [Read more…]

Five Tax Breaks for New Parents

New parents have their work cut out for them. Not only are they dealing with lost sleep, they also face the extra cost of raising a child. At least there are a lot of potential tax breaks available to them. Check out this list and share it with any new parents you know. [Read more…]

This month:

July 4: Independence Day

July 31: Quarterly federal excise tax returns (Form 720) due

July 31: Employer quarterly federal tax returns (Form 941) due

July 31: Calendar-year employee retirement and benefit plan returns (5500 series) due [Read more…]

How do I remove myself as Trustee from my mother’s trust?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I don’t want the responsibility that my mother has written in trust. The trust give me power to evict my brother from her home if he doesn’t do repairs. [Read more…]